View Full Version : Samurai Order Recruitment Thread - until 13/12

5th December 2004, 06:10 PM
Ace_of_Spades make the firsty

5th December 2004, 07:00 PM
Roughly this is a clan dedicated to samurai in late events to a research project I did. I found out I love the samurai, so I decided to make a character for it, Asakura Yuzon. along with that this Clan... all I need is seven members and we have a small village. As we get more recruits we will be able to do more things. Eventualy if we get about fifteen to twenty members we become and empire and that would mean we could start intra-clan wars, meaning 2-3 clans in one war.

Clan Ranks: Ideas to be voted upon

Lord: Asakura Yuzon

Heir to Lord, or Son to Lord:

Most Notable Warriors: (Total of Ten Wins Ic Wins)

Notable Warriors: (Total of Five Ic Wins)

Teachers: (Total of Three Ic Wins)

Warrios: (Everyone Else)

Students: (Those awaiting training) wolfstrike, Tarukai, Hysteria, Taggerung, Chaoslight, Pustolio, Zach

Samurai Info:

History of the Samurai In Death:

Fairly or unfairly, death has always been linked to the samurai. It is in fact the samurai's presumed affinity for death that seems to set him aside from other warriors and captures the imagination. Of course, there can be little doubt that the manner in which he viewed his own death was considered most important. But was he as obsessed by it as we have been led to believe, ready to toss his life away at a moment's notice?

Perhaps we, both Japanese and foreign, owe much of our 'death-intensive' view of the samurai to the Hagakure, a book composed in the 18th Century. Written long after the last samurai army had marched into battle, the Hagakure - and books like it - sought to stiffen the flagging martial spirit among a samurai class nearly destitute and directionless. Needless to say, a good deal of idealism found its way into the pages of these 'how-to' books, but at the same time, the wisdom contained within was (and is) often distorted or misconstrued. Perhaps the most famous example is provided in the opening chapter of the Hagakure itselfů

"The Way of the Samurai is found in death. When it comes to death, there is only the quick choice of death."

These oft-quoted lines find their way into many 'populist' books and magazines on the samurai and/or Japanese martial culture. Yet, if we read a bit further, we encounter this passageů

"We all want to live. And in large part we make our logic according to what we like. But not having attained our aim and continuing to live is cowardice. This is a thin dangerous line. To die without gaining one's aim IS a dog's death and fanaticism. But there is no shame in this. This is the substance of the Way of the Samurai. If by setting one's heart right every morning and evening, one is able to live as though his body were already dead, he gains freedom in the Way. His whole life will be without blame, and he will succeed in his calling."

In these words we find a depth and thoughtfulness lacking to some degree from our image of the samurai and death. Another Edo samurai, Daidoji Yuzan, wroteů

"One who is a samurai must before all things keep constantly in mindůthe fact that he has to die. If he is always mindful of this, he will be able to live in accordance with the paths of loyalty and filial duty, will avoid myriads of evils and adversities, keep himself free of disease and calamity and moreover enjoy a long life. He will also be a fine personality with many admirable qualities. For existence is impermanent as the dew of evening, and the hoarfrost of morning, and particularly uncertain is the life of the warriorů"

Yet, how much can be drawn from the writings of peacetime samurai? Granted, any Edo samurai faced the prospect of suicide should he greatly displease his lord, or commit some notable transgression (the penalty for striking another with a sword in anger was often suicide). Additionally, even life in Edo Japan was fraught with all manner of hardships, including fires, earthquakes, and disease. In this respect life differed little from the days when Kamo no Chomei had written, "Where to find a place to rest? And how bring even short-lived peace to our hearts?"

The samurai view and idea of death was shaped not so much, perhaps, from the ways of war as the realities of life. Every aspect of Japanese life was tailored to suit an existence in a land that could be shockingly and suddenly cruel. Earthquakes could topple castles, and plagues ravage the countryside. Raging fires often swept towns, leading Chomei to write, "all of man's doings are senseless / but spending his wealth / and tormenting himself / to build a house in this hazardous city / is especially foolish."

Famine was an ever-present danger, and Chomei witnessed the especially cruel one that tormented the land from 1181-82. "There was little trade, but grain was worth more than gold / Beggars were many in the streets, clamor of suffering, sorrow filled the air / Even as you watched, stricken people walking by, would suddenly fall / so many bodies of the starved lay in the streets hard by the walls of houses / Since these were not removed there rose a dreadful stench. It was more then one could bear to look upon these rotting corpses." This same famine brought the Gempei war to a grinding halt, and claimed both high and low.

Over the centuries, many famous men would die not in battle but from illness, including the two great rivals Uesugi Kenshin and Takeda Shingen.7 Promising young lords such as Mori Takamoto and Taira Shigemori died young and in their beds. All of this contributed to the sentiment behind the words of Daid˘ji Yuzan and the Japanese appreciation for fleeting beauty.

Way of Death:

"Those who cling to life die, and those who defy death live." The sengoku daimy˘ Uesugi Kenshin left these words for his retainers just prior to his own death. The Hagakure provides a somewhat similar bit of wisdom. "A person who does not want to be struck by the enemy's arrows will have no divine protection. For a man who does not wish to be hit by the arrows of a common soldier, but rather those of a warrior of fame, there will be the protection for which he asked." In other words, while a peacetime samurai was free - and encouraged - to contemplate death, a fighting samurai was probably better off not thinking about it.
No samurai was ever safe from the shadow of death when at war, and many famous names fell on the battlefield. Uesugi Kenshin's own father had been killed in battle, and more then a few of his notable contemporaries would fall to an enemy's sword. Imagawa Yoshimoto, Ryűz˘ji Takanobu, Sait˘ Dosan, Uesugi Tomosadaů great warlords all slain in daring enemy rushes. Many others commited suicide after their causes had been lost, from Minamoto Yorimasa of the 12th Century to Sue Harukata of the 16th. Naturally, the samurai took a somewhat philosophical approach to death, as we have already seen. Beauty, or at least an enduring pathos, could be found in the passing of a samurai. Rather then dwell on the dreary details of battlefield slaughter, let us read the closing lines to the N˘ drama 'Atsumori', which recounted the death of the young Taira warrior Atsumori at the Battle of Ichi no Tani in 1184 and the later meeting of his ghost with the man who had killed himů

'Then, in time, His Majesty's ship sailed,
with the whole clan behind him in their own.
Anxious to be aboard, I sought the shore,
but all the warships and the imperial barge
stood already far, far out to sea.
I was stranded. Reining in my horse,
I halted, at a loss for what to do.
There came then, galloping behind me,
Kumagai no Jir˘ Naozane,
shouting, "You will not escape my arm!"
At this Atsumori wheeled his mount
and swiftly, all undaunted, drew his sword.
We first exchanged a few rapid blows,
then, still on horseback, closed to grapple, fell,
and wrestled on, upon the wave-washed strand.
But you bested me, and I was slain.
Now karma brings us face to face again.
"You are my foe!" Atsumori shouts,
lifting his sword to strike; but Kumagai,
with kindness has repaid old enmity,
calling the Name to give the spirit peace.
They at last shall be reborn together
upon one lotus throne in paradise.
Rensho (Kumagai), you were no enemy of mine.
Pray for me, O pray for my release!
Pray for me, O pray for my release!

It may be of some interest to note that the play 'Atsumori' was reputed to be a favorite of the often-ruthless 16th century warlord Oda Nobunaga.
The line between suicide and death in battle was often thin, especially since a certain measure of glorification was attached to the notion of perishing on the battlefield. Here we find the 'nobility of failure' Ivan Morris once wrote about, the gallant death of the losing warrior. The Battle of Nagashino in 1575 provides us with a moving example. The Takeda army had been crushed by the combined forces of Oda Nobunaga and Tokugawa Ieyasu and now faced complete annihilation, with no less then ten thousand men already dead. The venerable Takeda general Baba Nobufusa had somehow survived the morning's slaughter and now led the remains of his command in a doomed rear guard action.

Nobufusa rushed a man to [Takeda] Katsuyori to say, "Sir, leave this place at once. I beg you. I will stay here and die." He stayed on with eighty horsemen and lost all of them. He climbed a hill and, seeing that Katsuyori was now far away, shouted loudly to the enemy, "I am Baba, Governor of Mino. Kill me if you can and win a big reward!" Enemies gave him multiple stabs, and he died.

The death of Nobufusa is given added poignancy by the knowledge that he and the other old Takeda generals had urged Katsuyori not to attack the allied army the night before. When Katsuyori ignored their advice, Baba and his colleagues dutifully led their men from the front and were killed almost to a man.
Another doomed warrior whose advice had been ignored prior to the start of his last battle was Taira Tomomori, perhaps the greatest of the Taira generals. With the final confrontation of the Gempei War imminent, Tomomori had urged his lord, Munemori, to dispose of a certain general whose loyalty he questioned. Munemori rejected his suggestion, and during the course of the Battle of Dan no Ura (1185) that very general betrayed the Taira cause. With all hope lost, Tomomori resolved to end his own life.

"I have seen enough," said the New Middle Counselor Tomomori. "It is time to take my life." He summoned his foster brother, Iga no Heinaizaemon Ienaga. "What do you say? You will stand by your promise, won't you?"
"Of course." Ienaga said.
Ienaga assisted the New Middle Counselor into a second suit of armor and donned another himself, and the two leaped into the sea with clasped hands. More then twenty samurai took one another by the hand and sank in the same place, determined not to stay behind after their master was gone.


The act of slitting one's own belly is such an unbelievable way in which to commit suicide that it is possibly the most famous element of the samurai mythos. Known in the West as hara-kiri (in fact a 'vulgar' expression probably never commonly used by the samurai themselves), the origin of disembowlment as suicide is impossible to pinpoint but the first notable acts were provided by Minamoto Tametomo and Minamoto Yorimasa in the latter part of the 12th Century. The original motivations for this method of death may well have been purely practical. Miura Yoshinobu's example aside, cutting off one's own head is a bit difficult, and as the spirit was felt to reside in the stomach, slitting the belly open was felt to be the most straightforward (if not quickest) way to die. Over the centuries, the philosophy behind seppuku was refined. One samurai wrote many centuries after the deaths of Minamoto Tametomo and Yorimasa that the spirit of a man was like that of an apple's core, unseen and locked within the skin.

The apple certainly exists, but to the core [soul] this existence as yet seems inadequate; if words cannot endorse it, then the only way to endorse it is with the eyes. Indeed, for the core the only sure mode of existence is to exist and to see at the same time. There is only one method of solving this contradiction. It is for a knife to be plunged deep into the apple so that it is split open and the core is exposed to the light-to the same light, that is, as the surface skin. Yet then the existence of the cut apple falls into fragments; the core of the apple sacrifices existence for the sake of seeing.21

The above was clearly an esoteric point of view. Others have written that the act of belly slitting required an exceptional bravery, and over the years it became a 'privilege' reserved for the samurai. Commoners might hang or drown themselves, whilst samurai women might slit their own throats; only samurai could commit Seppuku. To be simply executed was a mark of particular shame, and generally reserved for notorious traitors.

By the Edo Period, the act of seppuku had become a fully developed ritual with Shinto undertones.
First, tatami edged with white would be set out, upon which a large white cushion was placed. Witnesses would arrange themselves discreetly to one side, depending on how important the coming suicide was considered.
The samurai, often garbed in a white kimono, would kneel on the pillow in formal style on his heels, hopefully in a composed manner. Just over a meter behind and to the left of the samurai knelt his kaishakunin, or 'second'. The second was often a close friend of the deceased, although his duty was not a popular one. His job was to prevent the samurai committing suicide from experiencing undo suffering by cutting the doomed man's head off once he had slit his belly. Botching this duty could be a shameful disgrace, and a steady hand was required.
In front of the samurai lay a knife on a lacquered tray. When he felt ready, the samurai would loosen the folds of his kimono and expose his belly. He would then lift the knife with one hand and unsheathe it with the other, setting the sheathe to one side. When he had prepared himself, he would drive the knife into the left side of the stomach, then draw it across to the right. The blade would then be turned in the wound and brought upward. Many samurai did not have to endure this last, unbelievable agony, as the second would lop their heads off at the first sign of pain. The cut carried out to its finish was known as the jumonji, or 'crosswise cut', and to perform it in its entirety was considered a particularly impressive seppuku.
Needless to say, one's frame of mind was of particular importance when approaching this act. The Hagakure and other Edo works relate stories of samurai losing their composure just prior to committing suicide, and in some cases having to be forcibly decapitated. Samurai were, after all, only human, and perhaps only through a lifetime of preparation could seppuku be faced with the prerequisite coolness.
Why would a samurai be expected or decide to slit open his own belly? The reasons are many, and much is made of them elsewhere. We'll content ourselves here with the briefest of lists of those reasons not involving a direct punishmentů

Junshi: this act of suicide involved following one's lord in death. Not entirely uncommon in the days of open samurai warfare, junshi was banned in the Edo Period as wasteful. The last famous example was that of the General Nogi Maresue in 1912 following the death of the Emperor Meiji.

Kanshi: Suicide through remonstration. Not common, this involved killing one's self to make a point to a lord when all other forms of persuasion had failed. Perhaps the best known example of this is provided by Hirate Nakatsukasa Kiyohide (1493-1553), who commited suicide to make a youthful and irreverant Oda Nobunaga change his ways.

Sokotsu-shi: Here, a samurai would kill himself as a way of making amends for some transgression. This is possibly the best-known reason for seppuku, and has perhaps been popularized far out of proportion to its frequency. One well-known instance involves the Takeda general Yamamoto Kansuke Haruyuki (1501-1561), who flung himself into the enemy after his plans had put his lord in grave danger. Badly wounded, he withdrew from the fray and commited suicide.

Attitude of the Samurai:

'Fate is in Heaven, the armor is on the breast, success is with the legs. Go to the battlefield firmly confident of victory, and you will come home with no wounds whatever. Engage in combat fully determined to die and you will be alive; wish to survive in the battle and you will surely meet death. When you leave the house determined not to see it again you will come home safely; when you have any thought of returning you will not return. You may not be in the wrong to think that the world is always subject to change, but the warrior must not entertain this way of thinking, for his fate is always determined.'

Uesugi Kenshin (1530-1578) Suzuki Zen and Japanese Culture pg. 188

The one who does good deeds and expects to be appreciated, does something better then committing a bad deed. However, he does so for his own benefit and not for others. A truly righteous man does good deeds without letting his beneficiary know of his deeds. He does good deeds freely and does not expect that in the future someone will recognize his deeds. A monk must have resolve far greater then this. In treating all sentient beings, he must not discriminate between those who are close to him and those who are scarcely known to him.

D˘gen (1200-1253) Lu Sources of Japanese History pg. 134

Offering prayers is for your own sake. Simply keep your mind straight and plaint, honest and law-abiding. Be respectful for those who are above you, and be compassionate to those who are below you. Accept things as they are: what you have as what you have, what you don't as what you don't. Doing so seems to accord with the Buddha and Shinto deities. Even if you don't pray, by keeping this in mind you will enjoy various deities' protection. Even if you pray, though, if your mind is crooked, you'll be abandoned by Heaven's Way. So be careful.

H˘j˘ S˘un (S˘unji Dono Nijuchichi Kajo article 5) Sato Legends of the Samurai pg. 250


It is important to read the above information to incoorporate into your character.

You must undergo training before you recieve a sword, a sword will be given to you upon the graduation of class.

I will decide who is the heir based upon the performance in the training thread upon which I will be testing the basic principles of roleplaying along with advanced things that I see.

The heir becomes Lord when I am defeated and perform Seppuko. then everyone in order of most Kills moves up rank if appropriate..

If you lose a battle, your character must suicide unless he dies in combat. Either way upon the death of a character you can make another character.

If in a clan war in which we start losing we fight until every last one of us is dead.

The sword in which you get upon the end of training will have an enscription that is based on your performance.

6th December 2004, 07:39 AM
Ace sign me up, i will make a char for this place in the week.

6th December 2004, 01:04 PM
I'm in Ace.

if I need to make a new character, PM me saying so please.

6th December 2004, 03:11 PM
i am in tooo :P

6th December 2004, 03:18 PM
Lol welcome, as soon as we get one more member I think it is, I can ask for a real thread... as for business, I like to have a democratic style of clan, I present an idea you guys vote... or I will ask for ideas, and say if I like it or not...

As for location, what do you guys want, mountains, plains, mountains and hills, mountains and valley, valley, plains and hills, hills whatever you guys vote on I will do.

Now icly, I am completely in charge, though as a benevolent dictator, not mean or anything. If you so wish you can fight me for my rank, but it has to be an Ic victory. However an automatic loser is determined if one of us or whomever takes my spot, and whomever, does not intiate fatigue and what not into their posts... but I don't think we will have to worry about it... if you know good roleplayers not in a clan, point them to us, we want strong roleplayers to start, the week can come later and we train them literaly.

Anyone above the Teachers are allowed to teach one on one, the point of the teacher is to teach as a whole.

6th December 2004, 03:36 PM
Wow. This clan looks very very cool, Ace. I would like to join. My regular BA character is a samurai but perhaps I will create a new character profile.

6th December 2004, 03:38 PM
It would probably be best, cause I am trying to keep this as realistic as possible, but magic is allowed, so don't think it isn't

6th December 2004, 04:16 PM
I think a mountian keep, you know that classical temple with statues, lots of moss, rainforests, thick green foilage, and a stream. Now, make it so :P

6th December 2004, 04:19 PM
I will add it to the main thread when it is made in a 6 days. next thing... what should our alliance be, nuetral, good, or evil.

6th December 2004, 04:22 PM
hmmm intersting, I guess it all depends on you, and how you will lead that clan..... So i guess that is neurtal?

6th December 2004, 04:25 PM
I think neutral is okay, since Samurai weren't usually evil.

6th December 2004, 06:22 PM
My vote is neutral, and a valley village, like the one in the Last Samurai

6th December 2004, 06:29 PM
I am fine with neutral as well. We should have some pagodas. Those kind of structures would do very nicely.

6th December 2004, 06:37 PM
pagodas? What are they?

6th December 2004, 06:45 PM
they are a type of building/structure famous of Japan.

6th December 2004, 06:47 PM
Oh those ones with the kick-arse rooves? Sweet

6th December 2004, 06:49 PM
i can draw it up, and scan it... and then post it here, you can guys can see if you like it. If you guys we can have monks, and they specialize in magics, and healing

7th December 2004, 04:16 PM
About the clan ranking, are there going to be any shoguns? I think that would be a very cool rank to have. And I am also up for the monk idea. And I think monks should also be capable of teaching unarmed combat.

7th December 2004, 04:19 PM
When we expand our village to other places, that would be a good idea...

7th December 2004, 04:53 PM
If it is ok could I try to make a banner for the clan? I am not master GFX artist like many other people on GUA; but I would like to try it out. Ill see if I can make one real REAL good, worthy of this clan. Ill post it as soon as possible.

7th December 2004, 05:28 PM
that's cool. I think the whole monk and shogun idea is neat. and yes, would be better once we've spread out more.

well, for the shogun idea anyway. the monks we could start out with for healing mainly.

7th December 2004, 05:44 PM
Sign me up but bare with me. I am tring to get used to coming to Gua and reading that long daunting post aint going to help.

Plus I got to make ANOTHER charecter.

Paradise Wandering
8th December 2004, 08:20 PM
Ace Pmed me asking me to join. So, here I am. This looks waaaay kewl.

I think a mountian keep, you know that classical temple with statues, lots of moss, rainforests, thick green foilage, and a stream. Now, make it so :P

Agreed, that would be great.

Pagodas are kewl too. :P

And I like the expanding to other villages idea, and also the shoguns and monks.

You now have 8 members, so PM Bk to make us a thread. :P

9th December 2004, 06:41 AM
Here is your new clan (http://www.giveupalready.com/showthread.php?t=6665)

Supposedly, I should close it... - Legion